Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Long & Winding Road to Erebuni Fortress (Էրեբունի)

While one of my favourite things about Armenia is how accessible it is in the sense of being able to travel to different regions very cheaply, it's sometimes easy to forget some of the marvels in Yerevan itself.

When my sister came for her 2 week visit, I thought it would be nice to take her to the Erebuni Fortress. The remains/ruins of the ancient Urartu kingdom founded in 782 B.C., it is a very impressive and interesting place--the name Yerevan itself comes from Erebuni. I have been there a few times but still enjoy going and both my sister and Lili were into it.

It's located in south-eastern Yerevan, so about a 1.5 - 2 hour walk from the centre, depending on how often you get lost during the turns you need to make. Since it was a nice sunny day, we opted for the long walk. I put my zinc-oxide sunscreen everywhere but on my nose for reasons unknown, and will have my still-burnt and peeling nose as my hishadag of our little trip.

About halfway there, we saw a lavash shop (Armenian flat bread) where they were baking it fresh and after confirming we were headed in the right direction, one of the workers handed us a freshly baked lavash and told us to enjoy it during our walk. OH WE DID. Reason #458 to walk more:
We finally arrived, sweaty and a little delirious from the strong sun. I remember in my first year in Armenia, while you had to pay to get into the museum, seeing the fortress itself was free. Things have changed and now you pay 1000 drams to have access to both. Still worth it. We decided to go into the museum first to cool off, and I think due to the sun-induced deliriousness, thought it was really funny to start imitating the images we saw. On further reflection, it wasn't:
Nailed it.
Once we were officially told to be quiet by one of the workers there, who also told my sister if she continues to sit on the cold ground she will not be able to have children, we decided it was time venture outside. I really can't explain why I enjoy being in Erebuni so much, but it mostly has to do with being able to walk on top of the ruins and always finding something new to see/read/learn/climb on top of. I've even come there once with Mona just to read. There is also one area where I am scared to jump from one foundation wall to another and it is a little goal of mine to do it every time I am there:
Laura documents my hesitation
There was a great view as usual of the city as well as Ararat and we just jumped from wall to wall and lost each other in the labyrinth-esque trenches. I don't have a picture of that so here is one instead of the walls. Looks like a Banksy piece to me:
We decided to take a mashootka on the way back and that gave us a sense of relaxation to stay longer and explore. There has usually been no one else there when I have gone so there is something very peaceful about being there. Yerevan can be cool too, and Erebuni Fortress is proof of that.
'Sup Yerevan

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